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Kortrijk wapen.svg Flag of Kortrijk.svg
Kortrijk (West Flanders Province)
State : BelgiumBelgium Belgium
Region : Flanders
Province : West Flanders
District : Kortrijk
Coordinates : 50 ° 50 ′  N , 3 ° 16 ′  E Coordinates: 50 ° 50 ′  N , 3 ° 16 ′  E
Area : 80.02 km²
Residents: 76,735 (Jan 1, 2019)
Population density: 959 inhabitants per km²
Post Code: 8500, 8501, 8510, 8511
Prefix: 056
Mayor: Vincent Van Quickenborne
( Open VLD )

Local government address :
Grote Markt 54
8500 Kortrijk
Website: www.kortrijk.be
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Kortrijk ( West Flemish Kortryk , French Courtrai , formerly Cortrick ) is a city in the province of West Flanders in the Flanders region in Belgium and is the seat of the arrondissement of Kortrijk . The city has 76,735 inhabitants (as of January 1, 2019) and an area of ​​80.02 km². It belongs to the Euroregio Kortrijk-Lille, which has around 1,900,000 inhabitants. The city lies on the river Leie (French Lys ), about 9 km from the Belgian - French border.

Metropolitan area of ​​Lille

Kortrijk is located at the Aalbeke motorway junction; this is where the A 17 (Bruges - Tournai) and A 14 (Lille - Gent - Antwerp) motorways intersect ; In addition, the city is surrounded by a motorway-like ring road ( Ring 8 ).

Dutch is spoken in Kortrijk . The dialect of Kortrijk belongs to the West Flemish dialect group . The city consists of the sub-municipalities Aalbeke, Bellegem, Bissegem, Kortrijk, Heule, Marke, Rollegem and Kooigem.

Together with its surrounding communities, Kortrijk is now an industrial and commercial city with its university, several universities, academies, libraries, museums and theaters, an important economic, scientific and cultural center as well as an important transport hub between Belgium and France.


Burgundy Castle of Kortrijk
Districts of Kortrijk: * I: Downtown Kortrijk * II: Heule * III: Bissegem * IV: Brand * V: Aalbeke * VI: Rollegem * VII: Bellegem * VIII: Kooigem
The Gothic town hall

Kortrijk already existed in antiquity as a Gallo-Roman settlement with the name Cortoriacum and was located in Gallia Belgica . It was an important traffic junction, was on the road from Cassel to Tongeren and was connected by other roads with Tournai , Gent , Lille and Arras . Roman antiquities have been discovered here since the 17th century, including various substructures, wells, ceramics, graves and coins. The first systematic excavations did not take place until the Second World War.

In the Middle Ages , Kortrijk had hereditary castellans from the Nevel family for a long time; after their extinction, the castellan's office was administered by a hooft poincter . Count Baldwin II of Flanders fortified the city against attacks by the Normans . Kortrijk received city rights in 1189.

In the run-up to the Hundred Years War on July 11, 1302, in the battle of the Spurs near the city, a French army of knights under Count Robert II of Artois was defeated by the Flemings fighting under the command of Guidos of Namur and other military leaders , mainly weavers from Ypres and Bruges , defeated. This ensured the independence of Flanders . King Charles VI. avenged this defeat on December 12, 1382 by sacking and burning Kortrijk after the battle of Roosebeke, which was victorious for the French . Philip the Bold rebuilt the city in 1385 and also had a citadel built.

From the 14th century, the city experienced a period of economic prosperity, which was connected with the development of the textile industry . It was now a center of Flemish cloth production. Towards the end of the 16th century, a flourishing linen weaving industry developed.

In the Franco-Spanish War , too, Kortrijk had to endure various hardships through repeated sieges. In 1645 the city was conquered by the French under the Duke of Orléans , but re-conquered by the Spanish in 1647. In 1667 the French seized Kortrijk again, kept it in the Peace of Aachen (1668) and fortified it. The city then remained with the " Grande Nation " until the Peace of Nijmegen (1678/79) . In 1683 the French demolished the fortifications of Kortrijk.

In the course of the Revolutionary Wars , the city fell into the hands of the French in May 1794 after fierce fighting. On March 31, 1814, a battle between 8,000 Saxon soldiers and other German troops under Thielmann against the French under Maison took place near Kortrijk , which turned out to be unfavorable for the former. Industrialization began in the 19th century, especially in the textile industry .

During the First World War , there was great destruction here in 1917. The city was also attacked during the Second World War in May 1940; It also suffered severe devastation in 1944 as a result of Allied bombing.


The municipal council consists of 41 councilors. For the term 2013-2018 was Vincent Van Quickenborne by the party Open VLD for mayor elected. In January he will be replaced by Rudolf Scherpereel from the Nieuw-Vlaamse Alliantie party . He was re-elected for the following election period until 2018.

coat of arms

The coat of arms goes back to the family coat of arms of the Kortrijk burgraves of the 12th century. It is heraldically described as follows: In silver, a twill and a red hem. The shield shows the city crown with five silver towers, held by two wild, flesh-colored men leaning on natural-colored clubs, framed and crowned by oak leaves.

Town twinning

  • PhilippinesPhilippines Cebu City (Philippines), since 2005
  • United StatesUnited States Greenville (South Carolina, United States), since 1991
  • UzbekistanUzbekistan Tashkent (Uzbekistan), since the late 1980s
  • China People's RepublicPeople's Republic of China Wuxi (China)

Source: Cultuur in Kortrijk, p. 75

Tourism and sightseeing

Kortrijk offers numerous sights: the Beguinage, St. Martin's Church with its five-pointed tower, the old St. Mary's Church, the Broel Towers on the Leie and the market square. A monument in the city commemorates the Battle of the Golden Spurs in 1302.

Secular architecture

The center of the city is the Grote Markt square. Here you can find u. a .:

  • The Gothic town hall from the years 1418–1420 was built in the transitional style of the late Gothic – Renaissance. The front gable is decorated with pictures of the Counts of Flanders . In the town hall there is the aldermen's hall and the council hall with sculptures from the 16th century. Also noteworthy are the stained glass windows, the wall paintings and the rare topographical maps.
  • The 14th century belfry has been part of the UNESCO World Heritage “Medieval Bell Towers in Flanders and Wallonia” since 1999 .
  • In 1955, medieval cellars were discovered under an apartment house on the corner of the market square. They were structurally protected in 1983. These medieval cellars are archaeologically significant as they are remains of old stone houses.
Beguinage (UNESCO World Heritage)
Saint Anthony Church
Count chapel of Count Ludwig von Maele

The city's mundane buildings are also worth seeing:

  • The Broeltürme ( Broeltorens ) are two towers of the former city fortifications from the 13th / 15th centuries. Century ( Speyetoren and Ingelburgtoren ) on the Leie.
  • The artillery tower from the 14th century is one of the few remains of the medieval French front castle. This was built at the same time as the main castle of the time by the French King Philip the Fair as part of the Franco-Flemish war against the Counts of Flanders. According to historical sources, the artillery tower was built around 1300. Originally it was a drinking water tower. Around 1400 the tower was integrated into the city wall and was used to manufacture and store gunpowder and ammunition.
  • The Mountain of Mercy ( Berg van Barmhartigheid )
  • The city scales
  • The Baggaertshof was built in 1638 by Joossine Baggaert , who furnished 13 houses for needy women. These houses stand together with the chapel around the rectangular courtyard, in which a garden with over 200 different herbs has been laid out.
  • The Groening monument was erected on the Groeningekouter . It is the work of Godfried Devreese . The monument in gilded bronze depicts the maid of Flanders. She tries to hold back the lion who has broken his fetters. The Groeningepoort was built in 1908 in Ardennes stone and bears the inscription "1302 - Groeningheveld".
  • The Roeland Palace
  • The Ghellinck Palace from 1698
  • The Theaterplatz ( Schouwburgplein ), with the City Theater ( Stadsschouwburg ) and historic houses
  • The court
  • The casino from 1844
  • Some art nouveau houses

Religious buildings

  • The Beguinage (nl. Begijnhof ), begun in 1238, is an ensemble of 42 houses from the 13th century and has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site "Flemish Beguinages" since 1998. There are about forty small houses in the Baroque style from the 17th century, the St. Matthew Chapel from 1464, the Anna Hall with a round staircase and the House of the Grand Maiden (Superior of the Beguines), which is set up as a museum. The visitor center is located in house number 2.
  • The Liebfrauenkirche ( Onze-Lieve-Vrouwekerk ) dates from the 13th century. The church houses important art treasures, including Anton van Dyck's erection of the cross. The golden spurs of the French knights, captured in the so-called Spore Battle ( Guldensporenslag ), were hung in this church in 1302 .
  • The St. Martin's Church ( Sint-Maartenskerk ) was also built in the 13th century. The original church is dated to the 12th century. Over the years, however, it has been rebuilt and expanded several times. The interior of the church is adorned with works of art such as a sacrament house from the 16th century, paintings from the Peter-Paul-Rubens School and the sermon chair from the 17th century. Kortrijk's first carillon is located in the church tower .
  • The Gravenkapel ( Gravenkapel ) was Count Louis of Maele 1370 as a mausoleum for himself and in honor of St. Catherine modeled on the Sainte-Chapelle build.
  • The Sankt-Michaelskirche ( Sint-Michielskerk ) was built 1607–1611 by Jan Persijn on behalf of the Jesuits as a replacement for the Heiliggeist chapel from the 14th century. It is a three-aisled basilica church with a semicircular choir in the north, which is flanked by two towers. The style is late Gothic. In 1947, a three-domed chapel was added to the church, where the miraculous sculpture of Our Lady of Groeninge is venerated.
  • The Sankt-Janskirche ( Sint-Janskerk )
  • The Groeninge - Abbey (NDL .: Abdij van Groeninge ) was the successor of the former Abbey Rodenburg (NDL .: Abdij van Rodenburg ) in the same district of Kortrijk.
  • The St. Nicholas Chapel ( Sint-Niklaaskapel )
  • The St. Eligius Church ( Sint-Elooiskerk ) in the Overleie district
  • The Sankt-Rochuskirche
  • The Saint Elizabeth Church
  • Sankt Antoniuskirche, Church of the Passionists from 1874 houses the grave of brother Isidore. Its simple, neo-Romanesque architecture contrasts with the neo-Gothic of the interior.
  • The Damian's Church ( Damiaankerk )
  • The Liebfrauen Hospital was probably founded at the beginning of the 13th century. The inner courtyard is reached through the monumental gate of the 17th century gable.

More Attractions

  • International rose garden
  • Fountain The Gulf of Olivier Strebelle on Schouwburgplein

Culture and art

Theaters and concert halls

  • Concert studio
  • Stadsschouwburg
  • Arena theater
  • Antigone Theater
  • De Kreun
  • Cultuurcentrum Kortrijk
  • Buda Art Center




  • Museum of Fine Arts or the Broel Museum
  • town hall
  • Groeninge Museum: the Kortrijk History Museum shows finds from Roman times and the Middle Ages, silver and gold coins and medals as well as regional products from Kortrijk, such as fine linen damask, silver work and earthenware.
  • Beguinage (Beguinage)
  • Kortrijk 1302: one day? Seven centuries - an interactive and multimedia museum about the Spore Battle of July 11, 1302.
  • Baggaertshof
  • National Flax Museum
  • Flemish Film Museum and Archive
  • Bakery and Molenmuseum (brand)
  • Agricultural Museum (Bissegem)

Economy and Infrastructure

Kortrijk is an international center for flax processing and trade. Flax harvested in Germany, France and Holland is processed in the Leie valley until it is ready for spinning.

In Kortrijk there is a 40,000 m² exhibition center, the Kortrijk Xpo . The interior furniture fair takes place here. Europe's largest bus fair, Busworld, took place here from 1971 to 2017 .

The Bockor brewery is located in the Bellegem sub-municipality .


With the main train station Kortrijk, the city has one of the most important rail hubs in the country. Trains run to Bruges, Ostend, Antwerp, Brussels, Ghent, Mechelen , Oudenaarde , Lille (France).

The city is by the motorways E 17 , E 403 developed and A19 and from the ring road R8 enclosed.

There is an international business airport on the city limits .

Kortrijk was the first city in Belgium to open a pedestrian zone in 1962 .


  • Long Munte top sports hall
  • Kortrijk basketball team
  • Kortrijk Sport CB
  • KV Kortrijk : The club was created in 1971 through a merger of the clubs SC Courtraisien and Stade Kortrijk. The first team plays in the Belgian first division in the 2010/11 season . The team was first class from 1976 to 1979, from 1980 to 1992 and again in the 1998/1999 season. The home games are held in the Guldensporenstadion .
  • SV Kortrijk
  • Wikings Kortrijk
  • Apolloon Kortrijk
  • Kortrijkse Guldensporenmeeting
  • KKS athletics
  • Kortrijk concentration camp
  • Kortrijkse Triatlon and Duatlon Club

sons and daughters of the town


  • Belgium , Verlag Karl Baedeker Ostfildern, 3rd edition 1998, ISBN 3-87504-417-7 , pp. 273-276
  • Philippe Despriet, Tito Goddeeris, Luk Beekmans: Kortrijk 1382. De muntschat uit het Begijnenhof. Archeological and historical monographs of Zuid-West-Vlanderen 19. Archeologische Stichting voor Zuid-West-Vlaanderen, Kortrijk 1999.

Web links

Commons : Kortrijk  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. PopulationData.net: Palmarès des plus grandes villes du monde - page 3 ( Memento of the original of October 9, 2008 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was automatically inserted and not yet checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / www.populationdata.net
  2. www.kortrijk.be ( Memento of the original from March 5, 2016 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / www.kortrijk.be
  3. Horst Lademacher : History of the Netherlands. Politics - Constitution - Economy . Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, Darmstadt 1983, ISBN 3-534-07082-8 , p. 153.
  4. Cultuur in Kortrijk ( Flemish , PDF) Stad Kortrijk. Archived from the original on March 24, 2012. Retrieved June 24, 2019.